The NHL All-Star Game is Saturday from St. Louis with the two Western Conference divisions facing off and the two Eastern Conference divisions doing the same and the winning divisions meeting in the “championship” game. Because of the All-Star break, it’s a short week of regular-season action. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week NHL Betting matchups. Check back for Mybookie NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 20th Edition
Las Vegas Golden Knights vs Boston Bruins
- When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
It has been a wild season in the NHL in terms of coaching changes as seven of them have either been fired or forced out. The latest was last week when Vegas dumped Gerard Gallant less than two years after leading Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final and being named the NHL coach of the year. Gallant, the first coach in Golden Knights history, was hired April 13, 2017, went 118-75-20 in three seasons with Vegas, and made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past two.
The team replaced him with Peter DeBoer … who was fired earlier this season by San Jose. DeBoer was head coach of the Sharks for four-plus seasons, compiling a 198-129-34 record during his tenure. The team made the playoffs in all four of DeBoer’s full seasons.
Gallant was supposed to coach the Pacific Division at the All-Star Game this weekend. Head coaches for the All-Star Game were determined based on the team with the best points percentage in their respective division at the season’s halfway mark. But obviously that’s not happening. Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet will coach the Pacific.
Season SeriesThis completes the season series between the teams. Boston won in Las Vegas 4-3 on Oct. 8. Boston scored four straight goals after falling behind 2-0 early in the first period. Brad Marchand had two goals and an assist. David Pastrnak and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask made 31 saves. Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty scored for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves but dropped to 12-8-5 against the Bruins with a .915 save percentage.
Vegas enters having lost five of six following a 5-4 shootout loss in Montreal on Saturday. The Golden Knights have given up 15 first periods goals in their last eight contests and Saturday was no exception as Montreal took a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission. Paul Stastny was hit in the face by a puck on a clearing attempt. Not clear if he will be able to play here.
Boston was a 4-3 loser in Pittsburgh on Sunday. David Krecji missed the game with an upper-body injury and is questionable here. He has 11 goals and 32 points in 41 contests in 2019-20.
Detroit Red Wings vs Minnesota Wild
- When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
- TV: NBC
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
This is final game before the All-Star break. First meeting of the season between what used to be division rivals before Detroit switched conferences. They split last season, with the Wings pulling a 5-2 upset in the Twin Cities. Tyler Bertuzzi had his first career hat trick for the Red Wings. Thomas Vanek had the other two goals for Detroit. Dylan Larkin had three assists. Nino Niederreiter and Luke Kunin scored for the Wild. Detroit outshot Minnesota a whopping 21-2 in the second period. The Wild finished with 19 shots.
Detroit’s best goaltender this season has been Jonathan Bernier but due to a lower-body injury he won’t play again until after the All-Star break. Bernier is 10-12-2 with a 2.99 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in his 28 appearances this season. So it will either be struggling veteran Jimmy Howard or Calvin Pickard. Pickard had a 13-8-3 record this season with a 2.90 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 24 appearances with Grand Rapids of the AHL.
The Wings remain without one of their best players in young winger Anthony Mantha. He hasn’t played since Dec. 21 because of a rib cage/shoulder injury. He has 12 goals and 24 points in 29 games this season. Fellow winger Andreas Athanasiou hasn’t played since Dec. 29 due to a lower-body injury. Athanasiou has supplied five goals and 19 points in 36 games this season.
Should be Devan Dubnyk in net for the Wild but he has been a huge disappointment this season. Dubnyk was an All-Star last season, but is 8-12-1 with a 3.35 goals-against average and .892 save percentage across his 23 appearances this season. Alex Stalock has been better but started Monday vs. Florida so likely will be Dubynk here.